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Crucifix


Introduction


The Crucifix is central to Catholicism and the Deposit of Faith. Through it, we are constantly reminded the sacrifice Christ made for the world's Sin (cf. John 3:16[1]). The Crucifix though, is a point of contention between Catholics and non-Catholic faiths. Here I will address at nominal length the concept of the Crucifix. For the Etymology of the word itself, click here.

Scriptural Considerations


1 Corinthians 1:23
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

1 Corinthians 1:24 
But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 1:25 
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Commentary from from George Haydock


1Co 1:22-25 The Jews, in the mean time, ask for miracles, such as God formerly wrought in their favour, and the Greeks, or the Gentiles, to be converted, expect from us, what they would look upon as the highest points of human wisdom and knowledge; for that which appeareth the foolishness of God, is wiser than men, and able to confound the highest human wisdom; and that which appeareth weakness of God, is stronger than men, who cannot hinder God from converting the world, by means and methods, that seem so disproportioned to this his design. (Witham) --- Foolishness.  That is to say, what appears foolish to the world in the ways of God, is indeed more wise: and what appears weakness, is indeed above all the strength and comprehension of man. (Challoner)


Common Objections Addressed


Beyond the scriptural indication to preach Christ Crucified, I will answer some other common objections below.

Key:  O. (Objection)
         A. (Answer)

Christ is Risen


O. Christ is Risen, why display Him on the Cross?

A. Christus resurrexit! Vere resurrexit! (Latin: Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen!). Rising from the dead wasn't what redeemed us. Rising from the dead didn't pay the cost of humanity's sin. Rising from the dead is a result of Christ's sacrifice, though it was not his sacrifice. Catholics proclaim the resurrection of the Lord, and we take great joy in it, though we take more from the Sacrifice on the Cross which was sufficient to redeem us all.

From Catholic Answers:

"Jesus did not redeem us on Easter Sunday. He redeemed us on the cross on Good Friday. He also said that to be his disciple we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him (Matt.16:24-27). Nowhere in Scripture do we find him replacing such attention with Easter Sunday! To behold the image of Jesus hanging on the cross is to recognize the greatest event in history. It is to remember how incapable we are of fully appreciating what his infinite love is—and how infinitely fortunate we are to know such love (even though imperfectly) through the gift of faith." (Fr. Vincent Serpa, Source)

Idolatrous?

O. Isn't the Catholic use of the Crucifix Idolatrous?

A. If anything would make the cross an idol, surely removing Christ from it would. This is what many Protestant denominations do, and thus the symbol becomes nothing but a common Roman Execution device. I would add further that the Crucifix is merely a reminder of Christ's Sacrifice, who is real (as opposed to the false God's idols in the Bible were supposed to actually be). The Crucifix serves as a visual reminder of Christ's Sacrifice for Humanity.

Citations


1. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.

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